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Social hosting ordinance moves forward
8IQ9 Screen shot 2015 05 27 at 10.11.39 AM

Dawson County is one step closer to a social hosting ordinance that would hold adults responsible for underage drinking on their property.

During a May 21 board of commissioners meeting, a motion was made by District 3 Commissioner Jimmy Hamby and seconded by District 1 Commissioner Sharon Fausett to move forward with two public hearings on the matter. The motion passed unanimously with commissioners Julie Nix and James Swafford voting in favor.

Public hearings are scheduled for June 18 and July 2 at 6 p.m, Dawson County Government Center, 25 Justice Way, second floor.

The ordinance is part of a three-pronged approach to reduce underage drinking in the county and was requested by Nancy Stites at Family Connection earlier in the month.

If the social hosting ordinance is approved, adults charged with violating the ordinance could be fined $1,000 and up to 100 hours of community service.

Our hope is this will reduce underage drinking and maybe lead to a community conversation as to what is normal behavior for a parent, Stites said earlier.

Dawson County Sheriff Billy Carlisle supports the proposed ordinance.

If theres a party that has underage individuals and no adult supervision whatsoever and theres alcohol involved, then we need to have the opportunity to shut that party down, Carlisle said.

Commission Chair Mike Berg announced the boards May 28 meeting will be a combined work and voting session.

"We ran into a situation where some of the stuff we're going be talking about has to be monitored, so we're going to have to have a voting session," Berg said.

Those issues pertained to disaster declaration documentation for costs incurred during two back-to-back ice storms in February. The board voted unanimously to approve the documents.

"I'd like to say 'thank you' to all the staff and departments that put a lot of work into that process and working with FEMA to get us that money," Swafford said. "GEMA's coming on board with that, too, so it's going to be a great help to Dawson County."

Once started, the storm clean-up should take 21 days, with individuals working seven days a week, according to County Manager Cindy Campbell.

Separately, the first of two public hearings were held regarding three proposed ordinances covering soil erosion and sedimentation control, storm water management and an ordinance to amend the compensation of the chairman and commissioners. No one from the public spoke for or against the ordinances.

The second hearings is scheduled for June 4, 6 p.m.

County Stormwater Manager Robbie Irvin spoke about an upcoming stormwater stenciling event, to be held at the Oak Forest subdivision clubhouse on Friday, May 29, at 2 p.m.

"The storm water stenciling event is part of Ms4 program," Irvin said. "It's an educational initiative to educate citizens about what happens when water goes in the storm drain. A lot of people think it goes nowhere but it actually goes to rivers and streams."

A letter of appreciation was shared regarding county employee Kristi Hudson and her assistance in the retrieval of the Millwoods jump drive after it was discovered it had accidentally been left in their computer at the recent Electronic Recycling event.

"They knew that there were good employees like that all in Dawson County, and she was one of them," Berg said.

In other county business, the following motions were unanimously approved:

A motion made by commissioner Swafford and seconded by commission Fausett to approve the 2015/16 health insurance renewal plan;

A motion made by commissioner Nix and seconded by commissioner Fausett to approve the county extension personnel contract/memorandum of understanding;

A motion made by commissioner Hamby and seconded by commissioner Swafford to approve the Vulcan bid for coarse aggregates (gravel) for 2016.